SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
MAY 4, 2021
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. AT DAILY’S PLACE
LIVE ON TNT
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
(Note: I edit and add analysis and details and attempt to fix any errors/typos to this report by Thursday mornings after hosting the live Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-show immediately after Dynamite ends.)
-A TNT “parental discretion advised” message aired.
-The Dynamite opening aired.
-They went to Daily’s Place with pyro blasting. They panned the crowd as Ross introduced the show. He said, “You picked a hell of a night to watch pro wrestling.” He plugged the Blood & Guts main event. Schiavone and Excalibur joined in plugging other scheduled matches.
(1) KENNY OMEGA & MICHAEL NAKAZAWA (w/Don Callis) vs. JON MOXLEY & EDDIE KINGSTON
Callis stood mid-ring with Nakazawa, who was in his usual slacks and shirt with his headset. He said Omega was unable to attend tonight. Schiavone interjected, “He’s lying.” Callis said Nakazawa can wrestle himself. This was clearly was news to Nakazawa, and not good news from his viewpoint. Then Kingston and Moxley made their ring entrance. Omega attacked both of them with the AEW World Title belt. He threw Kingston into the ring and the ref called for the immediate bell. (Why would the referee reward the heel attack by immediately starting the match when the babyfaces were reeling from the illegal attack? That’s a top five stupid thing wrestling promoters often do without thinking about how ridiculous it is from any semblance of sports fairness and referee competence.) Moxley recovered a minute into the match and helped Kingston. He ended up battling Omega one-on-one, sending Omega rolling to ringside to recover. Moxley dove through the ropes at both of them. The announcers noted it’s the biggest crowd at Daily’s Place since New Year’s Day 2020.
Nakazawa gave Kingston a low-blow from behind. Omega raked Kingston’s face across the top rope and made wild faces. Moxley cheerled from the corner for a tag as Omega continued the offense against Kingston. Kingston began no-selling Omega chops and firing back with his own. Kingston hit a running clothesline and tagged Moxley just as Omega hot-tagged in Nakazawa. Nakazawa pulled off his shirt and swung at Mox. Mox ducked and back suplexed Nakazawa. He then gave him a leaping piledriver for a near fall, broken up by an interfering Omega. Mox applied a sleeper to Nakazawa as Kingston invited Omega to enter and interfere. Omega decided not to help his friend. He waved his arms and retreated to the back. Mox then gave Nakazawa a nasty clothesline for the win.
WINNERS: Moxley & Kingston in 8:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Intense and solid, but the finish felt inevitable.)
-Afterward, The Young Bucks walked onto the stage. Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson attacked Moxley and Kingston from behind in the ring. Ross lamented the attitude change by the Bucks. Omega strolled back to the stage and joined in the attack. Brandon Cutler also walked out, bringing a camera to film Omega. Omega delivered a One-Winged Angel on Kingston. Nick Jackson counted three.
-Excalibur plugged Hikaru Shida vs. Dr. Brit Baker for the PPV. Schiavone said he’ll announce who Omega’s opponent will be at Double or Nothing. Ross plugged that Cody Rhodes vs. Q.T. Marshall was up next. [c]
(2) Q.T. MARSHALL vs. CODY RHODES
They showed a fan in the crowd with a sign that said, “I’m probably the only real Q.T. fan.” Ross said Q.T. has gotten too big for his britches. Cody made his ring entrance and charged right at Q.T. Again, the referee called for the bell after a wrestler prematurely decided to start the attack before the bell. The ref took away Cody’s white belt. (Since when is that is a thing, and since when is the referee interested in fair play and rules after letting wrestlers jump-start the first two matches?) As Cody protested, Marshall lashed Cody, as Ross put it, “like an animal” and said he’s treating Cody like “he’s nothing more than a mangy dog.” (Who out there is whipping animals and “mangy dogs”? Can we move on from comparing wrestlers being whipped to animal abuse?) Schiavone plugged tickets for next Wednesday’s Dynamite event at Daily’s Place. Marshall threw Cody off the top rope and delivered a dead lift German suplex. Cody rolled to ringside where Arn tended to him. Marshall pursued Cody at ringside. After chopping Cody and throwing him into the ring, Arm yelled at him. Marshall shoved Arn in the face. Arn wound up and punched Marshall. Arn ground Marshall’s face against the ringpost. Three referees ordered Arn to the back. They cut to a split-screen break. [c]
Marshall dominated during the break. Back live, they collided mid-ring. Schiavone noted that Cody’s dad invented the Blood & Guts match (a/k/a War Games). Excalibur referenced a “Blood & Guts” match that Dustin Rhodes participated in decades ago. Cody went for a sunset flip. Cody pulled down on Marshall’s trunks. Cody then landed a DDT, but was slow to make the cover. Cody landed a top rope moonsault press for a two count. The screen graphic hyped Miro plus Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky. Marshall avoided a Disaster Kick and then gave Cody a Crossroads. Cody countered a Diamond Cutter, but Marshall came back with a tombstone piledriver attempt. Cody reversed it, then Marshall reversed it, then Cody reversed it again and he landed it and scored a near fall. Ross noted that Cody didn’t hook the legs. Cody stood and caught Marshall with a Crossroads for a near fall. Cody helped Marshall to his feet. Marshall gave him a middle finger. Cody then gave up on any sympathy for his own friend and he put him in the figure-four. Marshall tapped. Cody was bleeding near his eye, dripping blood. Ross called it a hell of a match.
WINNER: Cody in 12:00.
-After the match, Anthony Ogogo entered the ring and punched Cody in the gut. He covered him with a flag.
-They went to the announcers on camera who reacted to the match, then threw to a clip of the angle last week after the main event where Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky attacked Sting and Darby.
-Alex Marvez interviewed Page and Sky. Sky grabbed the mic and asked who’s afraid of the big, black bat. He said Sting is nothing but a mosquito sucking on the blood of AEW, so they’re going to swat him. He said Sting has overstayed his welcome. “I’m the franchise now, bitch.” Ethan said he doesn’t get why everyone looks at Darby as some unsolvable riddle. Darby then attacked them. They fought on an outdoor platform. Darby leaped onto Ethan. Then Sky threw a trash can at Darby. Ethan and Sky stomped away at Darby. Then Ethan threw Darby down the flight of concrete steps. Ross gasped during his fall. Schiavone said he might have a broken arm. Sky and Ethan smiled down at Darby as medics tended to him. They cut to a partial split-screen break. [c/ss]
(3) DR. BRIT BAKER (w/Rebel) vs. JULIA HART
Ross noted if they receive an update on Darby, they will deliver the information to fans. Ross talked about Brit’s arrogance and how she knows she’s good. A corner graphic hyped that Brit would challenge Hikaru Shida for the AEW Title at Double or Nothing. Baker landed an Air Raid Crash, but she pulled Hart’s shoulders up and applied the Lock Jaw for the tapout win instead.
WINNER: Baker in 1:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: A good example of the value of squash matches on TV. Baker got to get her personality and key moves across as announcers talked about her upcoming title match.)
-Taz did a scouting report that critiqued Christian’s offense, noting the flaws in his style of execution. Then Taz touted the superiority of Powerhouse Hobbs’s offense by comparison.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was funny.)
(4) THE VARSITY BLONDES (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison) vs. JURASSIC EXPRESS (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus w/Marko Stunt) vs. SCU (Christopher Daniels & Kaz) vs. THE ACCLAIMED (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster)
Caster rapped and said they’re about to make Daniels quit the Biz. He said Varsity Blondes are “a temporary thing, in ten years you’ll be on ‘Dark Side of the Ring.'” He said he’d slap Jungle Boy like John Stossel and he’d turn Luchasaurus into a fossil. He said they’re going to take the tag belts “off those two young cucks.” “I said it,” he said. Bowens then said, “The Acclaimed have arrived.” (I sure hope Caster had the “Dark Side of the Ring” line cleared with everyone ahead of time.) They cut to a partial split-screen break a minute in. [c/ss]
The Acclaimed were double-teaming Daniels after the break. Dark results were shown on a ticker on the bottom of the screen. Luchasaurus tagged himself in by slapping Daniels’s back, then slapped Daniels. He took out both Caster and Bowens with suplexes, then one-armed slammed both Varsity Blondes. Then he threw Kaz onto the Blondes at ringside. JB tagged in and he slammed Bowens onto Caster and scored a two count, broken up by Daniels. When JB climbed to the top rope, Daniels knocked him down and Kaz rolled him up for a two count. Kaz caught JB with a clothesline, but Pillman rolled him up from behind. Daniels and Kaz landed the combo BME on Pillman Jr. for the win. Ross said SCU challenging The Bucks next week could be the tag team match of the year.
WINNERS: SCU in 12:00.
-Excalibur plugged Mox defending the New Japan U.S. Title against Yuji Nagata next week on Dynamite in the first-ever defense of that title outside of New Japan. Soundbites aired with both Mox and Nagata. Mox said he invited him to Dynamite with respect, but he disrespected him. He said once the bell rings, he’s got no respect for anyone. Excalibur touted Nagata as a mainstay of New Japan over the last 20 years.
(Keller’s Analysis: Nicely done.)
-Schiavone stood mid-ring in front of the cage that was all set up for Blood & Guts. He introduced Omega who walked out wearing his AEW World Title belt. Nakazawa was carrying his Impact Title belt, his TNA Title belt, and his AAA Mega Title belt. Schiavone said he’s never seen someone with four titles. Omega said, “Enough about me. How many people here are ready for Blood & Guts?” They showed fans cheering. He said, “Well, that makes one of us.” Schiavone looked at him incredulously. Omega said he’s been a busy man given all of the gold he has. Schiavone threw his arms up in frustration and looked off to the side. He said it has come to pass – the match that will decide who the next challenger for his AEW Title will be. He said he isn’t there for fun and games, and in fact he doesn’t want to be there at all. Schiavone said Pac and Orange Cassidy will face off, with the winner facing him at Double or Nothing for the title. Omega took the mic and said in AEW, wins and losses matter. He said Pac has defeated him before and made him tap. He understands everyone wants to see that match again, so get to the point and announce it. Schiavone said it’ll be Pac or Cassidy, not just automatically Pac.
In walked Cassidy to cheers. He said the winner will go on to face him at Double or Nothing. Omega acted like he didn’t know who Cassidy is or what his name was. Omega began laughing at the prospects. “Are you serious?” he said. “Pac or you?” A loud “Freshly Squeezed” chant started. Omega said he’s seen people with hands in their pockets everywhere he goes and kids dressing up as him for Halloween or Sock Hops. He said the only thing championship material for Cassidy is something he clearly ripped off from him. He touched his sunglasses, then asked if he minded. He took them off Cassidy. He said he’s a shade guy, too. “I’m kinda the guy who made that whole thing popular and famous.” He asked if they cost him $800 or $1,000 on the black market. He said he’ll never take the title from him, but he has already taken his valuable time. He said therefore he’s taking his glasses. He put them on Nakazawa. Nakazawa posed for the camera. He told Cassidy to look at him when he’s talking to him. He said those glasses look better on Nak than him. He said Nak looks more like a champion than him, too. He said maybe he’ll see Cassidy in ten years when he becomes a fully grown adult when they can talk whenever about whatever. “See ya’ in the funnies, buddy,” he said before walking away.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was maybe the first time I’ve sensed Omega showed up to Dynamite with forethought about what he’d do on the mic or put time into a promo before he gave it. I think it was very good, although not great, but a definite step in the right direction. They pretty much gave away Cassidy is winning next week by having Omega say he wants to face Pac and then have a confrontation with Cassidy. I think it’s a bit of a stretch to put Cassidy in the World Title match on PPV at this point in his journey, but they don’t have a ton of obvious fresh options, and they have the win/loss record to justify it. It will be a fun and potentially excellent match, though.)
-Miro walked to ringside. Excalibur said Kip Sabian has to go under the knife now due to Miro’s attack last week. Miro yanked the mic from Schiavone and said he told the world that no one is going to destroy his destiny. He said the world has a problem now and he’s there to collect. He said he has a date with his destiny next week. He said he’s coming after Darby Allin’s TNT Title next week and they will find out then what happens when the man who doesn’t mind dying meets the man who doesn’t mind killing him. Miro had Schiavone read the stip that Darby will forfeit the title if he’s unable to wrestle. (Is that a new rule in AEW or just thrown in for “somethin’ extra” in this match to add drama?)
(Keller’s Analysis: Miro has really shifted into a more serious mode and I’m buying it.)
-Excalibur plugged next week’s matches and segments including Schiavone interviewing Jade Cargill.
-Justin Roberts introduced The Pinnacle. Schiavone noted that a key to this match is that Tully Blanchard was in the first “Blood & Guts” match back in 1987. (From a legal standpoint, can AEW not own the rights to the match footage and also change the name from “War Games” and claim it was called “Blood & Guts” and incorporate it into their narrative like this?) [c]
-Inner Circle made their entrance as the crowd sang Jericho’s song.
(5) THE PINNACLE (MJF & Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler & Shawn Spears & Wardlow) vs. INNER CIRCLE (Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara & Santana & Ortiz & Jake Hager)
Dax opened against Guevara. Dax was cut and bleeding quite heavily early, living up to the “blood” portion of the match’s name. Spears entered with a chair in hand. The announcers noted it’s all legal. Next, Ortiz entered and took out the heels. Ross said this is not a match for the weak of heart. Cash entered next to give Pinnacle the one-man advantage again. Santana entered to even the odds. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Wardlow entered next as MJF gloated from ringside. Hager then entered wearing a prison outfit. By this point, Wheeler was bleeding heavily also. Hager worked over both Cash and Dax with a barrage of offense, then turned to Spears and applied an anklelock. Spears tapped, but all ten men weren’t in yet, so it didn’t count. Wardlow and Hager then faced off from different rings. Wardlow moved over to Hager’s ring. They battled against the side of the cage.
MJF finally entered. The audience booed. Ross said he might be the most disliked wrestler in all of AEW. MJF yelled down at Jericho outside the cage. Jericho entered last, so the bell rang for the “All Out Assault” stage of the match where a submission can end it. Jericho used his bat. Schiavone said there were no bats back when the match was first presented in 1987. Jericho and Spears climbed a truss and battled. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Guevara landed a Coast to Coast kick of a chair into Spears’s face. Ross said Sammy entered as motivated as anyone in the match. A “Sammy!” chant broke out. Jericho hit MJF with a turnbuckle – the metal part, not the pad. Santana showed off a fork. MJF was bleeding. Santana jabbed MJF’s forehead with the fork. Santana licked the fork afterward. They cut to another split-screen break. [c/ss]
Back from the break, MJF had climbed out of the cage and onto the roof. Jericho climbed the truss to meet him up there. Jericho applied a Walls of Jericho. MJF teased tapping, but then landed a low blow instead to break the hold. MJF shifted to a Salt of the Earth (Fujiwara armbar). MJF stood and stomped on Jericho’s arm and rammed it into the roof. MJF bit Jericho’s hand and applied another Fujiwara armbar. Ross noted that in the ring, there are multiple muggings going on. They went to a wide shot where most wrestlers were lying down and not moving much. Ross said it was fatigue. MJF hit Jericho in the face with the Diamond Ring. MJF let out a roar and then looked off the edge of the cage. Excalibur said that would be going too far. MJF lifted Jericho and set up tossing him down. He said if he doesn’t surrender, he’s throwing him off the top. Santana and Ortiz yelled, “Don’t do it!” Sammy yelled, “We surrender!” The announcers said they had absolutely no choice.
WINNERS: The Pinnacle in 34:00.
-After the match, MJF stood over Jericho. Jericho talked to him a bit. MJF then lifted Jericho and shoved him off the top of the cage anyway. Jericho fell onto the crash pad. “My god, what did we just see?” Ross said. The “corrugated steel platform tiles” separated, showing a thick padded mat underneath. Medics checked on Jericho as MJF yelled down at him. Schiavone said there’s no one he despises more than that piece of crap on top of the cage.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’d have preferred a wrestling hold or move or weapon leading to a submission over someone verbally submitting for someone else, leading to an obvious crash pad that everyone sees through. For those who like blood, this match delivered. There was plenty of other violence throughout and spotlight moments for most of the participants throughout to feel epic.)